Oju Africa, which is a division of African mobile manufacturer Mi-Fone, has launched a set of Black emojis following the recent debate over emoticons lacking diversity, according to International Business Times. What better company than Oju, which translates as “face” in the Yoruba language of Nigeria, to create the new set of facial figures.
It all started with an article by MTV Act blogger Joey Parker, who flagged the fact that there are no (or barely any) non-white emojis in the basic range within most text-message apps used by Apple, Google, and Microsoft. In response, Apple pledged to create more diverse faces. However in dragging their feet, Oju Africa beat Apple to the punch. The mobile company launched a collection of 15 emojis this week in the face of the growing criticism.
The announcement comes after a petition was launched for Apple to scrap its list of 800 emojis, of which only two appear to be non-white: “man with gua-pi-mao” and “man with turban.”